There are some essential things you might be leaving off of your Disney World itinerary!
Planning a Disney World vacation is exciting! In fact, sometimes we get so caught up snagging our Advance Dining Reservations, making our Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations, and booking special event tickets that we forget to add some essential things into our schedule. Today we want to talk about something you might be disregarding that could actually make all the difference on your trip to Disney World!
Of course, Disney World is a magical place. But as wonderful as it is, it can still make for a draining vacation! You and your family will be walking A LOT, the weather will probably be hot and sunny, and there’s constant mental stimulation all day, every day. The adrenaline and excitement can only fuel your tank for so long — you and your family WILL get worn out!
The truth is, if you don’t take the time to rest and refuel when you need it, you and your family will get burnt out. So, while we understand the desire to make the most out of every moment of your vacation, you’ll probably make more happy memories if you get the REST you need!
Make Sure Everyone is Getting the Sleep They Need
This might sound self-explanatory, but it’s surprisingly easy to overschedule yourself at the expense of your sleep! First, keep an eye on how you’re planning consecutive days. For example, if you have tickets for an After Hours Event, you can count on being out pretty late that night — so it’s probably not the best idea to plan on rope-dropping Disney’s Hollywood Studios the next day to get on Rise of the Resistance first thing in the morning!
Also, if you have nappers in your family, try to avoid making dining reservations or Genie+ selections for mid-day when it’s normally naptime! In our experience, we’ve found it’s best to stick as close to our normal sleep schedules as possible, especially when traveling with the kiddos. Again, that adrenaline will only keep you running for so long before the inevitable crash!
Build a Resort Day Into Your Vacation
This is a great way to recharge mid-vacation! Again, we totally understand the desire to pack as many rides, restaurants, and activities as possible into your trip. But if you plan a resort day about halfway through your vacation, your family can rest up and have more energy to power through the rest of your stay!
Having the chance to sleep in, rest your feet, and relax can go a long way towards preventing future meltdowns. And even if you do have someone in your group who can’t sit still, there’s plenty they can do at the resorts! There are pools, arcades, and resort-specific activities (like the drawing class at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort!) to keep them busy!
Make Sure Your Family is Getting the Food They Need
Yep, it’s important to rest AND refuel! And this can be a particularly tricky situation in Disney World. There are a ton of cupcakes, french fries, and Mickey ice cream bars around the parks and resorts. So it’s easy to eat a lot less healthy — or at least a lot different — than you and your family are used to at home. And these nutritional changes can lead to meltdowns and “tummy aches” for sure, so it’s important to make sure your family is getting the food they need to stay healthy!
If the urge strikes for something moderately healthy while at Disney, there are some restaurants around property that offer more “whole food” options, like the Build Your Own Bowls at Satu’li Canteen.
You’ll also find fresh fruits and veggies for sale at the resort food courts (but beware, they’re pricey!) and at locations around the parks like Anaheim Produce in Hollywood Studios.
Or if you want to take it a step further to REALLY make sure you have your food of choice on hand, you can have groceries delivered to your resort! All of the Disney World Resort hotels will allow guests to have packages delivered to the front desk for pick-up.
Disney does charge a small fee (right now, it’s $6 per delivery) on top of the delivery fee through whichever service you use. Just be sure to check out all the details before you place your order to make sure your package arrives safely!
Okay, now that we’ve covered the importance of getting the food you need, we have to talk about drinking enough water! Between the heat and humidity, dehydration can sneak up on you sooner than you might expect. We definitely suggest that you bring a water bottle to the parks so you can keep water on hand at all times.
We’ve also seen Disney add several water bottle filling stations throughout the parks in places like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the Flight of Passage queue. Of course, you can use regular water fountains to refill as well, but we find the water bottle fill stations to be easier than a traditional fountain!
And remember, you can also get free cups of ice water at quick-service restaurants throughout Disney World!
Here’s what you need to know about Disney World’s refillable water bottle stations (including more locations you can find them!).
Keep a Handle on Everyone’s Emotional Well-Being
Whether it’s exhaustion, hunger, dehydration, or a combination of factors, Disney World can take a lot out of people! We know from experience how easy it is to get caught up in the magic and miss out on signs that someone else is losing steam.
Don’t forget to take a step back and gauge how all of the members of your party are feeling. And if someone isn’t feeling well enough to get on a ride or go to a meal, skip it! Even if you’ve had the reservation for months, pushing past your family’s tipping point isn’t worth it in the long run.
If you do have to skip out on a reservation, you can try to reschedule it for later in your trip! Genie+ Lightning Lanes and dining reservations do come up as other people cancel or reschedule their time slots. Keep refreshing Genie to be on the lookout for new openings for rides you want to experience. Also, you can stop by the check-in desk of table service restaurants to ask if they can accommodate a walk-in party.
Remember that Genie+ Lightning Lanes and last-minute dining reservations don’t always result in you getting your first choice of attractions and restaurants, but you never know until you try.
Trust us, even if you don’t get the exact experience you originally hoped for, it’s still better than sitting through a ride or meal where EVERYONE is miserable! The most important part of your vacation is making memories with your loved ones — so don’t risk their health or well-being just to keep a reservation!
Disney World has so many awesome attractions, incredible dining experiences, and exciting events that it’s easy to get wrapped up in packing your itinerary to the brim! But don’t forget to build in some buffer for your family to rest and refuel.
Allowing your family to take a break, eat some familiar food, and enjoy the moment is much more important than getting in that one extra ride or dinner reservation. And remember that some of the best memories can come from the simplest moments!
Wondering what NOT to bring on your vacation?? Click here for six things you shouldn’t take to Disney World!
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What are your tips for staying well-rested in Disney World? Let us know in the comments!